Just as you need a healthy diet to live your best life, so does your dog. And, just as human diets are not created equal, neither are dog food; therefore, to ensure your dog is getting the nutrition he needs, it’s imperative that you know what’s in your dog’s food.
Essential to a good dog food is that it contains the proper nutrients to ensure quality overall health. Your dog needs not only meats and proteins but also grains, vegetables, and fruits to consume a balanced diet.
When you pick a food for your dog, consider the following:
Consider Your Dog’s Age and Size
Just as we, as humans, have different nutritional needs according to our age, so do dogs. Your veterinarian can provide you with information about what food to feed your dog as he ages. Additionally, your dog’s size can also inform the type of food you feed your dog. Many brands will have food specifically designed for different stages and sizes of dogs.
Read the Ingredients
When you buy food for your family, often you check the ingredients to ensure it meets your dietary needs. Doing the same for your dog ensures that you’re feeding your dog a food that will benefit his long-term health. When reading the ingredient list, the first ingredient will always have the highest percentage in the food. Furthermore, if the list of ingredients lists different ‘types’ of a single ingredient, it lowers that ingredients percentage; however, you will know that breaking up that particular ingredient it will lower that component on the list of ingredients, but the percentage of that ingredient is fairly high. Your veterinarian will be able to guide you on the best ingredients for your dog.
Again, similar to humans, portions make the difference. Obesity is a growing problem with dogs; therefore, it’s important to consider how much you’re feeding your dog. Most commercial dog foods will provide a portion size based on your dog’s weight. Again, it’s always a good idea to ask your veterinarian for suggestions for dog food portion size that is appropriate for your dog.
Wean Your Dog
Also, changing dog foods drastically can be a jolt to your dog’s system. Therefore, if you decide it’s necessary to change your dog’s food, be sure to wean diligently to ensure a positive experience for both you and your dog.